What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation best practices require creating an online presence for your product or service so potential buyers can easily find you and eventually buy. That’s the definition of demand generation. A full-funnel approach to demand generation is quickly overtaking other approaches to marketing success. What are the building blocks that make up an effective, full-funnel demand generation strategy?
- Content Creation
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Marketing Automation Software
- Database Creation & Segmentation
- Ideal Prospect Profiling
- Leading Scoring & Nurturing
- Sales Enablement
Developing your B2B brand’s presence requires putting together an assortment of campaigns that will reach potential buyers in places they often visit, interact with them as they research and think about options and furnish your sales team the ability to connect with them in such a way that results in a sale. To manage a brand presence in the minds of your prospects, you need to consistently perform and optimize all the activities above. Demand generation is not a one-time effort that you develop for a certain period and then forget about. It doesn’t work that way.
As you can imagine, balancing this many continuous projects demands a lot of discipline and effort. The never-ending nature of B2B demand generation is exactly what makes it so complicated. If you are prepared to make demand generation programs a priority, you will likely be challenged by resource constraints.
The First Obstacle: People
You must dedicate personnel resources to the demand generation process. Someone needs to be in charge. However, it is not necessary to hire a full-time demand generation manager to manage this function. The key is to concentrate on the skillsets you need to accomplish each function. You may discover that a single person can take on several roles like handling copywriting and the completion of email campaigns. There is nothing wrong with using fractional sources, if individuals are given the jobs they are most suitable to accomplish, and no one is stretched too thin. If you are having difficulties staffing, think creatively by starting with the skill sets you have in-house, and then, if necessary, get part-time contractors or outsource to fill the spaces. Provided that you have a proficient manager who understands the process from end-to-end, then you will be able to run a demand gen program with a comparatively small team.
The Second Obstacle: Budget
Certainly, to get the headcount and technology you require, you need to reserve part of your budget for demand generation. Marketing automation software alone can be very costly, and you may find you still need individuals to create and perform campaigns, take care of your database and make sales. If you bring on several full-time employees or retain an outside agency, costs will accumulate quickly.
That is why it is important to select software that doesn’t charge you for features you won’t need and to be smart about who you hire or contract to assist you with accomplishing each demand generation function. The point is that it can be complicated and necessitates a purposeful, extensive approach as well as the resources to support it. Work backwards from your desired goals to figure out what your demand generation function should be like, and budget, hire or outsource keeping that in mind.
Demand Generation Resources
One of the biggest challenges for B2B companies with a complex product or service offering is not knowing if they’ll be able to produce enough content to become thought leaders in their industry. Making matters more difficult, outsourcing to a writer is cost-prohibitive when you take into account all of the time and effort to educate that person on your product and how it fits into the marketplace. This is magnified in early-stage companies with restricted resources and even less manpower to create a demand generation team. So where do you turn to generate demand and create qualified leads for their sales team? How do you create brand awareness and engage with potential customers?
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